BERT CONNELLY, Editor-in-Chief
Hi Beloit, it’s been a while. I trust that your summer was good and that you are healthy by conventional standards. Anyways, remember when Jay-Z came out with “The Black Album” and said it would be his last album and said, “Allow me to reintroduce myself,” at some point midway through? I’m thinking this week’s blog could serve the same purpose. Keep your eyes peeled, sneak dissers of Beloit College; this is your Folk and Blues preview.
7:30 p.m. – Okay follow me on this, guys. It’s 7:30 p.m., it’s Friday night, you’re getting slizzard with your bros and babes and someone shouts, “It’s time to get mellow, y’all!” The Speedbumps are here to fill your various chill-pill prescriptions. I am currently listening to their “Apple Tree” album and feeling like hanging some Jack Johnson tapestries on top of some Dispatch album sleeves. (Oh, the lead singer just used the word bonfire). I don’t want to give the impression that I’m not into this, it’s catchy and up-tempo acoustic guitar and sing along for 20-minutes and your voice will be all raspy and hazy and sh*t. Also, their songs translate very well to a live act. I know that because of YouTube. Check out “Honky Tonk Coltrane,” and “I Come From a Town.”
9:00 p.m. – You know how other music “festivals” have their own smart phone app, complete with a festival map and schedule? Well, we didn’t give ISR enough prior notice to pull that off, but Betty & The Boy are next up on the Bushel and Peck/BSAAC Stage, which also happens to be the stage. The first video that comes up from a detailed YouTube search is called “Moth to a Light” and is very much like Rihanna’s “We Found Love,” except no one is having fun and there is none of that dubstep tomfoolery. It’s not as much a tale of butt-tattoos and asinine wardrobe choices as it is about running mascara, doing cocaine off clock faces, vigorously applying razorblades to your wrists and maggots nibbling on oxycontin. To get a feel of what they will probably actually sound like, check out their “Meet The Band Sneak Peak” video. The lead singer (Betty) is a real looker and they have a guy who plays stand-up bass and wears muttonchops.
10:30 p.m. – Charles Walker Band cannot ensure that your night goes out with a bang. That’s up to your own level of game. But they will do uncontrollable things to your hips and, dare I say it, your groove muscles. They are both a ton of fun and from Milwaukee. I know; it’s a revelation. Charles Walker plays sax and the keyboards and usually busts out solos on both during every song. According to ReverbNation.com they are the number six R&B/Soul band in Milwaukee, but in my heart they are number one. Seriously, I don’t know why this is so sarcastic, this is going to be a good show. High energy, high fun.
7:30 p.m. – You’re recovered from the night before and from the football game, but don’t let your guard down for one second. When you do then that is precisely when Nigel Mack and the Blues Attack will strike. Nigel Mack comes from a rich tradition of Southern Rock that has always been epitomized in my scatterbrained mind by George Thorogood & the Destroyers. This show will promise a lot of skirt-twirling, beer-sipping and I will eat my hat if Nigel Mack doesn’t say, “That’s right, baby,” at some point during a guitar solo.
9:00 p.m. – The Midwest Beat is both the name of a band I want to see on Saturday night and how I refer to my journalistic aspirations. They make self-described “jukebox-ready tunes that are saturated in vocal harmonies.” In layman’s terms, they want you to sing along to their music and you will. I drew their most recent album cover in high school. That’s a lie. This band, in my eyes, is the epitome of what Folk and Blues is all about – dancing around like an idiot to catchy guitar and hook driven rock.
10:30 p.m. – Sole City Juke Band is going to close out the “festival” in style and sophistication. Who knows, you might even enjoy yourself. They play Cajun Music, which is exciting because it’s one of my favorite genres/brands of music styling and they do it well. I found their version of “Iko Iko,” a guaranteed crowd pleaser. Beloit College, lend me your ears, the last sentence of the band’s home page reads, and I quote, “If it’s a PARTY you’re after…look no further,” [sic.]. Grammatical mistakes aside, this is going to be great.
If you only read one part of this article read this one: Allow me to reintroduce myself. Despite all the obnoxious and sarcastic things I said in the previous paragraphs, all these bands seem like a good time and nothing is better than live music with 1,300 or so of your closest friends. To first years, Folk ‘n’ Blues is an institution at the institution at which you are institutionalized. It is six free concerts, unlimited free popcorn and you get a t-shirt for the price of a bottle of water at any other concert. Turn the Buc up.